Nicorette Thinks Bogart Would Have Been Cooler if He Smoked a Plastic Tampon Instead of Cigarettes

Last Updated Apr 8, 2010 1:34 PM EDT

Some people believe that smoking cessation products such as Pfizer (PFE)'s Chantix or GlaxoSmithkline (GSK)'s Nicorette are a scam designed to fill drug company coffers with cash because quitting cold turkey is more effective and cheaper.

Those folks will get a little more ammo for their theory from a new Nicorette commercial in the U.K. (where Johnson & Johnson holds the Nicorette license*) which recreates smoking scenes from classic movies but replaces the cigarettes with the Nicorette "inhalator."

James Dean puffs nervously on what appears to be a plastic tampon as he prepares for the fatal drag race in Rebel Without a Cause. Clint Eastwood enters a saloon from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with a pen cap in his mouth. And Sami Frey sucks on a plastic one-hitter in Jean-Luc Godard's Bande a Part. (OK, that last one seems almost reasonable.)

Campaign reports that ad agency AMV BBDO's intent was to "further conventionalize the product's use," but the effect is to instantly make cinematic smoking the coolest thing on earth. Think I'm wrong? Watch the ad below, and then underneath check out the scene from To Have and Have Not in which Lauren Bacall interrupts a smoking Humphrey Bogart to give him a kiss -- and then teach him how to whistle.

*Correction: This article has been changed to make it clear that J&J is the marketer of Nicorette in the U.K. and GSK markets the product in the rest of the world. Apologies for the error.